Monday, August 27, 2007

Beginning Silk Ribbon Embroidery

First of all, I apologize for taking so long to get this post up. Something very unexpected and unpleasant occurred this weekend, and it really has us thrown for a loop. Please say a prayer for us, and if you have any hints on how to deal with highly neurotic, bordering on the paranoid delusional relatives, please let me know! Also, if you scroll down the sidebar, you will see why this month is the hardest month of the year for us. This really is difficult to handle right now.

Okay, on to the SRE.

Like most needle arts, SRE's exact origins is difficult to pin down. It appears that SRE (also called ribbon work or Rococo embroidery) first embellished court gowns in France in the 1700s. Traditional designs involve floral themes, but modern embroiderers have found ways to stitch butterflies, birds, mermaids, angels and tin soldiers, to name a few imaginative ways silk ribbon has been used.

SRE is easy to learn and you only need simple supplies.

Needles: Sharp, large-eyed needles such as crewel and chenille needles.

Hoop: I like the 2" to 7" plastic spring hoops.

Embroidery scissors

Marking tools: Possibilities include water soluble and disappearing pens, white pencil for dark fabrics, dark marking pencils for lighter fabrics.

Cotton floss or silk thread for embroidering "stems."

Needle grabbers (small rubbery circles that help you pull the needle through the fabric).

100% silk ribbon in 2mm, 4mm, and 7mm widths (4mm being the most common).

Fabric project (napkin, blouse, pillow top, etc.)


Embellishments, if desired: beads, buttons, laces.

Here's the supplies I've gathered for my project:

The piece I'm working on is a brown premade napkin. I inherited the set from my husband's late grandmother.

You'll also notice a hoop, embroidery scissors and two needles. One needle is an embroidery needle for the floss I'll use to make the stem part of the design. The other is a crewel needle for the ribbon.

I've shown two marking pencils. One is white and the other is graphite (in fact, I think I inherited that white pencil from DH's grandmother too).

Also pictured is some green cotton floss that matches the green ribbon. The silk ribbon I've lined up is all made by Bucilla. #7102, 7mm Variegated Jungle Greens, #503, 7mm Pale Honey, #502, 4mm Banana, #666, 4mm Sunflower, #113, 4mm Purple. I bought these some time ago, and I believe the numbers may have been changed. You will be choosing your own colors depending on what you have chosen for the project. I may not be using each of the colors. I want to see how it develops. I will be using this for teaching SRE to my DD, so she will be giving her input as well.

Here is the design we will be using. Click on the pic to enlarge it and to print it out when you're ready.

The design can be worked in whatever colors you like and suit your purpose. Each flower could be a different color or in the same tonal shades (remembering that buds are often darker than the open flower). You could even use holiday colors. I hope you find this inspirational and not overwhelming. I don't want you to be standing in front of the ribbon display in a trance repeating "Pretty colors" over and over.

Again, I apologize to the tardiness of this post, and I will try to be much more timely with the rest. I hope you are looking forward trying your hand at silk ribbon embroidery.

1 comment:

  1. I have read your blog so many times and never seen those "always remembered" icons on your sidebar. I had no idea you'd suffered such tragic loss. My prayers are with you this week as you struggle through what must be a difficult time of year.



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